Expo Milano 2015, with its theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” closed Saturday, October 31st. Although investing $1.8 billion into a 184-day event and transporting designers and materials across the globe isn’t quite sustainable, the results were revolutionary—exhibiting new, sustainable building methods and promoting food production. But now, the big question is: what’s going to happen to these temporary structures? Here are three notable participants repurposing their structures with minimal waste. Palazzo Italia: Becoming a university campus Palazzo Italia, designed by Nemesi & Partners, is clad with 2,204 tons of smog-filtering concrete, eighty percent of which is sourced from recycled materials, like Carrara marble. During the expo, the interior’s interactive spaces promoted Italy’s agricultural and culinary traditions, and now it will serve as the headquarters of a university campus for innovation. Having been repurposed on site, Palazzo Italia will not be disassembled, making it the only permanent structure designed for the Expo. Breathe.Austria: Reforesting South Tyrol Breathe.Austria, “The Breathing Pavilion,” by Team.Breathe.Austria, Terrain, is a miniature Austrian forest, designed to provide around 138 pounds of fresh oxygen per hour, without filters. Climate engineers will release the actual measurements within a week. However, this estimated rate is enough oxygen for 1,800 people in an ideal climate and demonstrates the benefits of a reforestation policy. Now that it’s time to leave the Expo, the reforestation pavilion has to deforest, but the 12 Austrian forest ecotypes—ranging from mosses and shrubs to towering, 40-foot trees—will get a home in a reforestation project in South Tyrol, Italy. Vanke Pavilion: Funding the restoration of a Chinese temple Vanke’s corporate pavilion, by Studio Libeskind, was designed and constructed as a “kit,” making it easy to disassemble and recycle. The 4,000 red metalized tiles, designed by Libeskind and Casalgrande Padana, will be sent to Vanke in China, formed into a piece of art, and auctioned off for charity, funding the restoration of a Chinese temple. The Pavilion’s contractor, Bodino, will reuse and resell the structural and mechanical components. These are only a few examples of how the Milan Expo has set the stage for expos to monitor consumption, minimize waste, and create long-serving structures.
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Mayor Rahm Emanuel's announcement that Chicago would launch an international festival of art and architecture—its own take on the famous Venice biennale—drew jeers and cheers from the design community both near and far from The Second City. AN called for the show aspiring to be North America's largest architectural exhibition to go beyond tourism bromides. Now the upstart expo has a name, as well as its first show. The inaugural Chicago architecture biennial will begin in October 2015, and will be called “The State of the Art of Architecture,” in reference to the controversial conference organized in 1977 by architect Stanley Tigerman. Tigerman's show celebrated the postmodern rejection of Chicago's old masters like Mies van der Rohe, forging the position of architectural protest group The Chicago Seven. A press release from the organizing committee alludes to the upcoming exhibition's wide scope:
More than a profession or a repertoire of built artifacts, architecture is a dynamic cultural practice that manifests at different scales and through various media: buildings and cities, but also art, performance, film, landscape and new technologies. It permeates fundamental registers of everyday life—from housing to education, from environmental awareness to economic growth, from local communities to global networks.The biennial's first commission was announced Wednesday by co-directors Joseph Grima—a former curator of the Storefront for Art and Architecture, and director of the Ideas City platform of the New Museum—and Sarah Herda, director of the Graham Foundation and AN editorial advisor. Renowned photographer Iwan Baan will contribute an original photo essay about Chicago featuring aerial shots taken at sunrise. The work will “capture the city during a moment of its daily routine,” according to the press release. “Like the Biennial itself, Baan’s expansive photographs interpret Chicago as a realm of architectural possibility, past and future.” The free festival's home base will be the Chicago Cultural Center, but organizers say it won't be restricted to downtown. “Using the city as a canvas, installations will be created in Millennium Park and other Chicago neighborhoods, including new projects and public programs developed by renowned artist Theaster Gates on Chicago’s south side,” reads a press release. “The Biennial will also feature collateral exhibitions and events with partner institutions throughout the city, and will offer educational programming for local and international students.” Tigerman, whose 1977 exhibition is the inspiration for the 2015 show's title, sits on the biennial's International Advisory Committee, which also includes architects David Adjaye, Elizabeth Diller, Jeanne Gang, and Frank Gehry, along with critic Sylvia Lavin, Lord Peter Palumbo and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Ty Tabing, former executive director of the Chicago Loop Alliance and founder of Singapore River One, will serve as the biennial's executive director. Oil giant BP has agreed to donate $2.5 million for the show, but Mayor Emanuel is reportedly seeking $1.5 million more.